PSEO: Postsecondary Enrollment Options (and Opportunities!)

As a high school student thinking about college, it’s important to be aware of all your options, including PSEO (aka Postsecondary Enrollment Options). If you know that acronym, you may have a few questions about how PSEO actually works or if it’s a smart choice for you. Worry not! We’re here to answer frequently asked questions about PSEO and dual-enrollment, ensuring you have all the information you need to make the most of both your high school and college careers.

What is PSEO?

Postsecondary Enrollment Options is a dual-enrollment program that enables high school students to earn college credit while completing high school graduation requirements. In the 46 states offering a statewide dual-enrollment plan, the eligibility qualifications, the party responsible for tuition costs, and participating institutions vary. The Education Commission of the States outlines dual-enrollment programs by state and is a great resource to learn more about your state’s options. Minnesota’s Department of Education provides more information about PSEO options in Minnesota specifically.

How does PSEO work?

Minnesota allows 10th, 11th, and 12th-graders to take postsecondary classes, and tuition costs are paid by the state’s Department of Education. However, PSEO at each college  works differently. Usually, PSEO courses are offered on campus, but some schools also provide online alternatives. Depending on the school, part-time or full-time options may be available. Through PSEO at Bethel, high school seniors can attend classes on campus full time and begin working towards their major. Bethel PSEO students also have the opportunity to live in student housing. They’ll experience campus life, eat meals in the Dining Center, join clubs and activities, and take full advantage of the same resources provided to traditional first-year undergraduate students.

Why choose PSEO?

PSEO programs are an opportunity to jumpstart your college career. Knock out some general education classes while completing your high school’s requirements. The best part? You get to do this without the same expenses a traditional first-year student faces. Even your textbooks are provided! Completing credits before graduating high school opens doors to study abroad, double major, or even graduate early.

One note is that the ability to transfer PSEO credits will depend on the institution. Any classes included in the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum are widely accepted throughout the state. The farther from Minnesota one goes, however, the less likely it is those same credits will be accepted. However, even if not all credits directly transfer, success in PSEO classes is an impressive resume-builder that demonstrates you’ve already proved yourself capable of managing an advanced course load.

Am I eligible?

PSEO Minnesota requires students to be high school juniors or seniors before participating full time. Sophomores are allowed to participate on a limited basis with career and technical courses. Full requirements are listed by the Department of Education. All students must also meet residency and eligibility requirements, but students from private, public, and homeschool programs can be accepted. However, each postsecondary institution determines its own admissions criteria which may include GPA, class rank, or standardized test score restrictions. Bethel’s PSEO requirements stipulate that participants must be Minnesota high school seniors with an ACT score of at least 24.

How do I enroll?

Contact the college you’re interested in attending to learn about their specific admissions requirements and the classes they offer. Depending on the school, you may find much of the information you’re looking for on their website. Bethel’s site lists offered classes aligning with state criteria. Finally, talk with your high school counselor to ensure you meet all your high school’s graduation requirements and that PSEO is the right choice for you.

Interested in PSEO at Bethel?

That’s great! We love our PSEO students. You’ll take your classes on campus, and if you’re over 17 years old (on or before move-in day in August) you can live in Bethel housing with another PSEO student! (Just know that housing would not be paid for by the state of Minnesota. That would need to be covered by your family.) For more information, see our PSEO admissions page. And then for more tips on making the most of your PSEO experience, check out this post!